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Behind the Before & After | The Biggest Extra

Updated: Jan 17

The Backstory on The 3-Season Porch

Anyone who visits our house knows right away that the enclosed 3-season porch - in between the kitchen and the garage - is my favorite spot. I sit out there as much as I can, unless it’s absolutely freezing, or when the sun is beating down during the mid-afternoons in July & August, but even then by 6 PM it’s glorious. So, how did the porch become part of the kitchen reno? It's a long story . . .

When I bought the house I really didn’t know what was going on out there. There was orange industrial carpet. The walls were the same vinyl siding as the house’s exterior. The ceiling was flaking and peeling off. It’s got a door to the kitchen, and door to the driveway in front of the house AND a door to the back patio. Was this an open space at one point, or was it always enclosed? What was it used for? What was I going to do with it? I honestly had no idea.

But, in time, it became my little spot. I decorated it “beachy” to honor my favorite pastime. After my Dad died in 2012, I took a few weeks off of work and ripped out the orange carpet and installed blue carpet tiles, just to give the space a refresh. For the walls, I chose a royal blue - technically called Ol’ Blue Eyes [BM 2064-30] because my Dad loved Frank Sinatra. It worked and gave me something to focus on instead of missing him.

Left to Right: The Before-Before orange carpet and the vinyl siding, a bit of Ol' Blue Eyes & my 2012 DIY install of the blue carpet squares, the floor to ceiling jalousie windows (Spoiler Alert, they stay!!)

Now, it has a big table that we eat on - it’s right off the kitchen after all. I use the space to work-from-home as well, when my home office is too cluttered (so, basically all the time). It’s been a handy spot to hold any necessary in-person meetings during COVID, because half of the walls are floor-to-ceiling windows. Near the front door we keep the dog food and the shoes we remove before entering the house. If we’re unloading groceries from a car the driveway, they come in that way. And we use the porch when we entertain & grill, since the back door opens onto our backyard patio area.

It’s not just a cute little “me” space, it’s one of the busiest and friendliest spots in our house. So how did this adorable, hardworking 3-season porch get involved in our kitchen renovation? It was - bear with me here - by way of the fridge relocation.

How it Began

One of the biggest changes in the kitchen is moving the fridge. We had had a window in the kitchen that looked out onto the 3-season porch. The kitchen never got a ton of light from it, since the window actually faced a porch wall. So we made the decision to close up that window, move the fridge into the space, and give us more cabinet storage. No big deal.

Left to Right: the pointless window from inside the kitchen, a drawing of the new fridge in position, the new door between the kitchen and the 3-Season porch (always part of the plan).

But one day my contractor asked me “So what do you want the other side of this wall to look like?” Huh? “On the porch - when we close up the window how do you want it finished on the outside?” Huh. Well, I never really thought about that part of closing up a window. So I started to think about what I’d want that to look like. And we came up with this nice idea of some beadboard with a piece of trim and some hooks - perhaps we’ll move the dog leashes there, or hang coats, or whatever.

Left to Right: The pointless window from the porch side, the patch that replaced the window, the beadboard installation over the patch.

And then of course…my mind starts churning. Well, what would it cost to remove ALL the porch’s vinyl siding and do the other 3 walls with matching beadboard? And how much to rip down the ceiling and replace that with a ceiling that doesn’t flake? And now the carpet tiles are now 10 years old…so what other options are there for flooring?

Needless to say, we are now renovating the porch also - floor to ceiling. To be continued...

I'm writing these Behind the Before & After posts about our kitchen renovation because I want to share our process - including any bumps along the way - so that homebuyers and homeowners can get a look at what really happens when you take on a major renovation. Clients ask me all the time, "Should I renovate?" And my answer is - usually - this, "Renovate for you, now, and how you want to live" so I'm following my own advice and inviting you to follow along.

Read more about our kitchen renovation here! And feel free to comment or contact me with any questions you have!!

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